The NBA has suspended Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker for three games without pay after he pleaded guilty to super extreme DUI. He will miss the first three games of the 2014-15 regular season, though the Suns’ opponents aren’t yet known. The schedule is set to be released Wednesday at 3 p.m. MST.
Tucker was stopped in Scottsdale on May 10 and arrested on three DUI charges and a traffic violation. He pleaded guilty to the charges on August 4, issued an apology, and will spend three days in jail and 11 days under home detention. Tucker also must pay fines and have an interlock device installed on his car for 18 months as part of the sentence. Additionally, he will submit to substance abuse screening and counseling, and could also face up to five years of probation.
The NBA’s punishment is a game more harsh than the DUI arrest case of former Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd, who missed two games to start the 2013-14 season.
Phoenix signed Tucker, their own free agent, to a three-year, $16.5 million deal this summer despite being aware of his DUI arrest.
“In considering this matter, we concluded that P.J. was sincere in his remorse and in his resolve to accept the consequences of his actions,” Suns president of basketball ops Lon Babby said in a statement following Tucker’s guilty plea. “We are convinced that he will take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future.”
The first three games of the season could be quite valuable for determining which players will back up Tucker. Marcus Morris is likely a candidate to start in his place, but T.J. Warren could make a case for playing time if he performs well during Tucker’s absence. Gerald Green could also easily slide to the small forward spot.